I feel like I should start this post off with an apology… but I won’t because we should never apologize for who we are and what we enjoy. 😉 That said, you do have to appreciate a good swear word or two (or 500) to enjoy this one.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is an unusual choice for me in terms of the profanity but something about the reviews caught my attention and tempted me to buy it just to see if anything with a title like this could really be that good. I’m not a prude but the f-bomb isn’t my favorite word either and is generally reserved for very well-deserved uses. Like broken toes. Buuuuuut… this book was that good. Better even. I got such a kick out of the first two chapters I couldn’t NOT share this.
Mark Manson found a way to incorporate a lot of things I believe in and preach in a way that I think many will find quite appealing. He took a fresh approach to a lot of personal growth perspectives that I appreciate. (And in all honesty, the emphasis the audio book reader placed on all the fucks brought out my inner twelve year old and made me giggle at times! Also not typical for me but the contrast between this and typical personal development was just too good to keep a straight face.)
The book caught my eye in the first place because I wholeheartedly believe life is too short to concern yourself with unimportant problems. I gauge “importance” by looking at the grand scheme of life. The Subtle Art is in line with that philosophy and comes at it from a fresh angle. It’s not about giving no fucks – it’s about giving the right fucks. Not exactly how I’d say it but the message is spot in. (I’m going to try and get my husband to read this – my probably would based on the title alone. 😉
Here’s a significant nugget from chapter two that caused a shift for me: We are used to asking the question, “what will make me happy?” and trying to fulfill that. If we believe the premise (and I do) that suffering is unavoidable and it’s just a matter of where the suffering comes from, then let’s try a different question: what would happen if we instead asked, “Which suffering am I willing to endure… willing to choose?” Choosing my suffering certainly put a few things into clear perspective for me. Which problems am I willing to not only tolerate but actually invite because I believe the outcome is so worth it?
Example: I am willing to do the hard work and endure the suffering that comes with building a business because I LOVE IT. I love the process, I love the learning, and I love the work. The hardships are not only worth it but sometimes even joyful in a strange and almost-sick way. Growing pains, right? I am NOT willing to endure the suffering of working for someone I dislike, disagree with, or have a total values clash with. That is not an option for me. Ever. It literally makes my body sick. There is nothing joyful in that suffering for me.
What would happen if you took a significant choice in front of you and did your core values work to see how it measures up, AND ALSO looked at which suffering you’re willing to choose because you so love the process and it’s worth it?
That was just one of the many nuggets I pulled out. There were countless others (and a few chapters I rolled my eyes at too). I listened to the audio book and this is one I’ll be buying the paperback of just so I can re-read and highlight the things I want to think about further. Check it out if you’re interested. It surprised me.
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